Wano continues its streak of delivering strong episode showings with emotional resonance and stellar animation. This latest string of entries has been firing on all cylinders. Wano has more ups than downs, but it really sings when it spends time with the Mugiwaras, and that is certainly the case here in 1043.
Whereas last week was heavily focused on Nico Robin (the most intelligent decision that can be made in this writer’s humble and unbiased opinion), this week, we focused on Brook. You probably know the emotional pain that is bound to hit when words like “One Piece flashback” and “Binks’ Sake” start getting thrown around, but just in case you need it reiterated: oofsies, right in the heart. Brook’s depression and aimless floating on the seas are shown in stark clarity, underscoring how important Luffy and the rest of the crew are to Brook. Sure his body is dead, but his spirit lives again—in the laughter, mirth, and singing that have returned to his life once more. Top it all off with a sweet moment shared between Brook and Laboon and, well, reach for those tissues, folks.
The rest of the episode features the return of other heavy hitters too. We see Luffy rise and demand meat, and it’s what you would expect. We also get some trash talk between Black Maria and Nico Robin, focusing on shaming Sanji. Despite the Toei Animation crew’s evident love for drawing Black Maria, I could concentrate long enough on the setup for the fight to get hyped all over again. We rarely see Robin deploy her full power set for any meaningful duration, and this episode only whets my appetite for more Fleur De Rip and Tear we’ll get next time.